Now available to stream online: the premiere auditions of the newest reality singing competition, Rising Star, based on an Israeli reality show, HaKovkhav Haba, or “The Next Star” in Hebrew. The first episode of the American version debuted Sunday, June 22.
Now, I’ve seen my fair share of reality television shows. I watched American Idol when it premiered more than a decade ago, and more recently I’ve dabbled with the X-Factor, America’s Got Talent, and The Voice.
Basically, the premise for all these shows is the same. Sing a song, impress a judge or two, and then hopefully garner enough American viewers that the studio executives want to keep your show around.
Rising Star offers a new twist — or new twist to Americans, as it’s essentially a carbon copy of Israel’s original show — the public’s votes are counted via their smartphones. Oh, and there’s something about a two ton wall, too.
Viewers have to download the Rising Star application, and then swipe red for no and blue for yes in real time. If a singer attains at least 70% of yeses while they sing, then they move on to the next round.
Cool in theory, if not so cool in practice. Critics have noticed that some percentages seem staged to give voters on the West Coast a reason to vote. Rising Star airs live in three US time zones, but is pushed back for the West Coast. As a result, viewers in the California area can “save” contestants if they vote when they watch the show an hour later. Many contestants finished with ratings in the high 60s, and so needed West Coast votes to move on.
Celebrity judges Kesha, Brad Paisley and Ludacris counted for 7% if they swiped yes.
Like the case with many other celebrity judges, I am always skeptical in their ability to judge a person’s potential to become a ‘Rising Star.’ From what I’ve gathered from magazines and celebrity interviews, to succeed in the entertainment industry, you need talent, connections, and a whole lot of luck.
Celebrity judges might be able to make connections with contestants, but that’s just about it. On Rising Star, their advice mimics other reality-show judges and relayed the standard, “watch the pitch” and “I loved your attitude.”
As a result, if I ever watch judges’ commentary on these sort of shows, it’s for their anecdotes and jokes. On Rising Star, the judges lack the entertaining camaraderie of The Voice, and don’t have the definitive personalities of the newest season of The X-Factor. But, to be fair, it is Rising Star’s first season, so I’ll give them a little leeway to get their bearings.
As to the talent factor, frankly, most of the contestants were mediocre at best. Nobody seemed like the next Kelly Clarkson or the next Carrie Underwood. Rather, they seemed on par with Danielle Bradbury, who won The Voice two years ago, or Tate Stevens from The X-Factor. Remember them?
I didn’t think so.
One contestant chose a song that was half in Italian, which alienated her from the audience. The others were barely memorable.
Only the last contestant seemed to leave some kind of impact. Macy Kate, 17 from St. Petersburg, Florida, won the highest percentage at 93% of votes. She belted out a good cover of “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton.
Kate participated in a nation-wide audition via Instragram. To generate hype for the show, Rising Star, officials asked for people to submit clips showing why they are “Rising Stars.” Kate was told to come to the premiere, but just to watch.
Twenty-five minutes into the show, Kate was picked out from the audience to perform the finale.
Yet, she could have sprouted leaves for how planted she felt to the audience. After all, she seemed incredibly well composed for someone who didn’t know they would be on national television five minutes. Plus, she preformed phenomenally for someone who had maybe an hour to prepare.
I don’t deny that she’s got talent; I do call out the producers for staging the thing.
Overall, my opinion of Rising Star does not match the optimistic title. If you want funny banter from the judges, look to The Voice and if you want more, say, colorful acts, you’re better off with America’s Got Talent.
You can catch up on “Rising Star” at http://abc.go.com/shows/rising-star
Forget “Real Housewives” or “The Bachelorette.” Joan Rivers is someone whose life we want to vicariously live every week on TV.
After more than 15 years of single life, Rivers has announced she is ready to find love — and we can watch her do it.
Starting in September, Rivers will star in a webseries on SheKnows TV, called “Romancing the Joan.”
Too good to be true you say? Well, it gets better.
The show will feature eight eligible bachelors vying for Joan’s heart. They’ll only have a couple of minutes to make a good impression before she gives the first round the axe (and you thought “Fashion Police” was harsh?).
I wanted all of them to stay,” Rivers, told SheKnows in an exclusive interview. “I need some new pool boys, a couple palm frond wavers and a grape peeler.”
The show will be hosted by Rivers’ daughter Melissa. According to the show’s promo, Melissa was less than impressed with the fact that some of the “yummy bachelors” are younger than her.
“Some of them were so young! It was gross,” Melissa told SheKnows. “I mean, do they even know how old my mother is?”
Joan, being Joan, answered: “Do you even know how old I am?”
A real lady never tells.
Reality television star Kim Kardashian apologized for tweeting about the Gaza conflict.
Kardashian apologized after two tweets in which she first told her followers she was “Praying for everyone in Israel,” and then tweeted that she was “Praying for everyone in Palestine and across the world!”
Kardashian later deleted both tweets and issued an apology: “(A)fter hearing from my followers, I decided to take down the tweets because I realized that some people were offended and hurt by what I said, and for that I apologize,” the statement, published on her blog, said in part.
The statement continued: “I should have pointed out my intentions behind these tweets when I posted them. The fact is that regardless of religion and political beliefs, there are countless innocent people involved who didn’t choose this, and I pray for all of them and also for a resolution. I also pray for all the other people around the world who are caught in similar crossfires.”
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